Total reach of SES Astra is now 125 million homes across Europe, up 3 million from the previous year. Of these, 57 million are direct to home and 68 million via cable. Astra said it now reaches 51% of all 244 million TV homes in Europe. Terrestrial broadcasts reach 85.5 million, of which 48% (41.7 million) are digital.
These figures were presented during a special press conference in Berlin. Data for the Satellite Monitor is gathered in 29 countries in Europe and North Africa with over 70,000 people questioned.
In terms of digitalisation, satellite leads the way with 71 out of the total of 77 million homes being digital (92%). Cable still lags behind. with 34% of all 71 million homes being digital (24 million). There are 9 million IPTV homes, all of them of course being digital.
Satellite’s digital lead is even clearer when looking at the shares of the various infrastructures with regards to digital homes. Out of the total of 144 million digital TV homes satellite has a 49% share, followed by terrestrial (29%), Cable 16% and IPTV with 6%.
Across Europe, 60% of all households are now digital, but there is a clear gap between Western and Eastern Europe. The UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland now have over 60%, Germany and the Benelux between 40 and 60% and Portugal and the East below 40%.
“The pay-TV market continues to be dynamic.,” said Ferdinand Kayser, president an CEO of SES Astra . “There is a plus of 40% during the past three years for pay-TV over satellite. Worldwide there are now 31 million subscribers. In the UK, Sky recorded a plus of 3. They now have 2 million HD subs out of a total of 9.7 million homes.
HD is now well on its way of becoming a mass market medium. Europe-wide, the Astra satellites serve 6 million HD homes. The operator broadcasts 114 HD channels – another two more than announced just two weeks ago at DVB World in Lisbon.
Kayser is also pleased with the developments in Central and Eastern Europe, “There are now 14 million more subscribers since 2005. In the Czech and Slovak republics we added 500,000 Astra households to a total of 1.6 million. And there is a big potential for us in Ukraine, where there are 18 million TV homes, of which 80% is still analogue.” Other areas of growth are the Baltic States and Scandinavia following SES Astra taking full ownership of Sirius.